Is Soccer Really this Worlds Biggest Sport?
Soccer is one of the most played and watched sports in the world. There are many things that make it stand out so much such as, it being on the world’s oldest sports, the world cup, and the support it gets from all over the world. Soccer brings people together and is something that no matter what is going on in the world, differences are put aside and fought out on the field. Soccer is such an interesting sport filled with facts and secrets that you would never believe.
Soccer is one of the world’s oldest sports and has been played for thousands of years. There have been many different versions of soccer played but the oldest version of what soccer today is played like was in 1863 in England. Soccer as we know it was originated in England, but versions of soccer can be traced back to 2,000 years ago in china. There have been many different version of soccer played all over the world. One of the world’s first versions was called Tsu’chu and it was played with a leather ball and was kicked through an opening about 30-40 cms in width made out of bamboo canes. Another form was that players would stand in a circle and had to pass the ball around without letting it touch the ground, which is still played today. The greeks used to played a version with a small ball in two teams on a field with lines and they tried to get the ball over each others lines to score. Britain was one of the first places to play the type of soccer we see today. They would play between whole villages through the streets, squares, and across fields. Kicking was allowed and anything to get the ball to the goal was legal except murder and manslaughter. Before the year 1908 irish prisoners that had been executed had their stomach harvested to make soccer balls. There were so many different versions played but one thing they all have in common is that they involved kicking a ball. Soccer has made so many changes over thousands of years to make the game we all love today.
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The World Cup is by far the most watched television event in the world. The world cup takes place every 4 years to determine a world champion in soccer. 3.2 billion people (almost half of the world’s population) tuned in to watch the 2014 World Cup. The first ever World Cup was in 1930 and was both hosted and won by uruguay. The average attendance in the 2014 world cup was about 53,00 fans per game. In the 2018 World Cup 32 teams qualified while in 2026 the number will jump to 48 teams. People take the world cup so serious that people have commited suicide or murder because their country lost. To buy an opening game ticket is about 468 us dollars. In order to make the world cup you must go through the “Preliminary Competition” which takes place in the 3 years leading up to the World Cup, where national teams must compete in games in order to be eligible for one of the 31 spots in the tournament. The host nation automatically qualifies to enter no matter what. Then in the group stage, the teams are put into eight groups with four teams in each group to start off the tournament. After playing each team in the group, the top two teams in each group advance to the second round, which is the group of 16. After the Group stage all games are knockout games until there is one team victorious.